Chapter 6: Desert Hideout

The tank traveled through the vast desert, running over zombies that had collapsed on the desert ground. On top of the tank were Eve and her group as well as the owners of the tank: Mary and Blaze, Users just like Eve. Eve was panting with sweat against her brow still being held by Adler.

Kale crawled to Adler’s side looking at Eve and stated, “I can hold her for now if you want.” Adler shook his head. Kale sighed and then pulled out a bottle of water from his bag and held it Adler saying, “At least get her to drink. I’ll grab some food from one of the other bags.” Adler nodded taking the water bottle. He removed the lid and held the bottle to Eve’s lips allowing her to drink slowly.

Blaze glanced at them and asked, “So is this girl a User like us?”

Adler nodded wiping the stray water from her lips.

“She is a User like you two,” stated Adler. Blaze smirked and glanced down at Eve.

“She’s a pretty little thing huh?” asked Blaze. Adler nodded.

“She your girlfriend?” asked Blaze with a playful tone. Adler blushed and shook his head saying, “I barely know her.” Blaze chuckled, but stopped when Mary tugged her shirt and pointed straight ahead. Blaze looked ahead and smirked.

“Looks like our base is in sight, so hang on tight boys,” stated Blaze and then clenched both her fists. The tank began to pick up speed making the boys stumble back a bit.

“That girl is quite something to control a tank from the outside,” whispered Ivan. Kohaku scoffed and muttered, “I want to know where the tank came from.”

“All in good time boys,” stated Blaze making it clear that she heard their remarks.

As the tank speeded up, David looked ahead and saw that they were heading towards what looked like an oasis, but tents surrounded the oasis and as he looked closer, he noticed men in green uniforms walking around with guns and some were holding supplies meant for survival. Just that sight alone sent chills down David’s back and he saw flashes of gun fire and blood dripping from his hands.

“David?”

David glanced at Ivan, who looked at him with concern in his eyes.

“I’m fine Ivan. Just brought back un-fond memories,” stated David and continued to look ahead, but the uneasiness was still in his eyes.

Blaze twisted her hands like she was steering a car and the tank began to turn with a slight slide stopping in front of the camp were the army men resided. Blaze gave a nod and looked at the boys and Eve with a bright smile.

“Welcome to our hideout in the desert!”

With those words, Blaze jumped down from the tank as did Mary. David looked over the edge and saw Blaze dust herself off and then look up at him.

“Get down from there so we can have a nice chat of your new situation in the apocalypse,” stated Blaze. David nodded and then looked toward the others.

“Can you guys get down?”

They all nodded, except for Eve, who was still sweating. David sighed and held his arms out toward Adler, who still held Eve.

“I’ll bring Eve down,” stated David.

“I can do it,” stated Adler with nervousness in his voice. David shook his head.

“Between you and me, I have the better grip, so just hand her over.”

Adler knew that David was right. David has always been the stronger one despite his size and he knew that Eve would be safer in his arms. Adler hesitated before handing Eve’s exhausted form to David.

David held her in his arms and immediately leapt down from the tank landing in front of Blaze and Mary.

“Nice landing. Jump off tanks often?”

“You could say that,” stated David holding Eve bridal style. Blaze chuckled and then noticed the others climbing down the tank.

“I guess you guys want to do it the safe way?”

“We are not as athletic as David,” stated Kohaku before placing his feet on the sandy ground and adjusting his hat.

Blaze chuckled and then looked back at David, who still held Eve.

“There’s some food in one of the tents, so she can eat and regain her stamina; and we can also have a little discussion.”

David nodded saying, “Lead the way.” Blaze gave a nod and urged them to follow, while grabbing Mary’s hand to make her follow.

As they walked, David took notice that the men dressed as soldiers paid them no mind and that made him slightly nervous.

They soon reached a tenth and noticed some opened cans on the table as if they were expected to arrive. Blaze gestured to the cans and stated, “These canned meats are pretty tasty, so please eat to your fill.” They looked to one another and then sat at the table beginning to eat from the cans tasting what seemed like chicken with barbeque sauce.

Eve ate the fastest gaining color to her face, but began to cough after swallowing too fast. Blaze chuckled and stated, “No need to rush.” Eve nodded thanking Blaze.

David was the first to finish and looked at Blaze with seriousness in his eyes.

“So where exactly are we?”

“You’re still in Genome if you didn’t know already. In the Arachnid Desert to be exact.”

“Do we want to know why it is called that?” asked Adler as he took a spoonful of the canned meat into his mouth.

“Not really. Anyway, this is the Arachnid Desert and you are currently in a mercenary hideout.”

“Mercenary hideout?” asked David with narrowed eyes.

“That’s right, but no need to worry about the men. Ever since the apocalypse came, we have been working together to beat the zombies. Difficult creatures to kill I must add.”

Eve finished her food and looked at Blaze with concerned eyes.

“Do you fight the zombies every day?”

Blaze nodded and stated, “We manage to keep them away from camp thanks to our artillery and that tank I used to save you guys.”

David frowned and asked, “That tank belongs to the mercenaries, right?” Blaze nodded saying, “It is quite easy to control, but only when I am outside of the tank. Tight spaces don’t work for me.”

Mary nodded in agreement and added, “The light in the tank doesn’t work, so it is best not to enter.” Blaze nodded patting Mary’s head in a friendly manner.

“So stay out of the tank, understood,” stated Ivan. The others nodded in agreement.

Blaze smirked saying, “You guys catch on fast. Now tell me, where were you guys headed before you were teleported here?”

“Nowhere in particular,” admitted David.

Blaze chuckled and pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear.

“How about staying here?”

“Here?”

Blaze nodded and stated, “It is safe here with all these men and that girl is a User so she can be comfortable here as well.”

“I don’t know and that GIRL does have a name.”

“I know. Her name is Eve, but considering that I haven’t heard all your names, I thought it was best not to call her name until you guys tell me your names.”

David sighed realizing they never gave proper introductions about being rescued and at that moment began to introduce them one by one, but also made sure to introduce Eve for her not to be left out.

Blaze nodded saying, “That’s better.” She focused her gaze on David and stated, “You seem to be the leader, so do you want your group to stay here?” David frowned gazing at the others for a moment before turning back to Blaze.

“I refuse to stay here. We will find a different place we consider safe.”

Blaze’s eyes widened and smirked saying, “I didn’t expect that answer from you. Are you saying this place isn’t safe?”

“Staying with mercenaries isn’t something I call safe,” stated David with seriousness in his eyes. Blaze shrugged and muttered, “Fine.”

Blaze stood up from her chair grabbing Mary’s hand and began to head toward the exit of the tent saying, “I’ll make sure the men prepare a car for you, so please leave in the morning.” David nodded and watched Blaze and Mary leave.

When Mary and Blaze were gone, David sighed and looked at the others asking, “Are you guys OK with my decision?” Ivan was the first to nod saying, “I trust your judgment.”

Adler smirked with crossed arms and stated, “I don’t trust this place either, especially with all these men. I feel like I am back at the Center.”

Kohaku adjusted his hat with a nod saying, “It really is uncomfortable.”

Kale looked toward the exit of the tent and stated, “I am glad they saved us, but I feel the same as you guys.”

David looked at Eve and asked, “Are you OK with us leaving or do you want to stay with them here?” Eve glanced at David and showed a small smile before shaking her head.

“I want to stay with you guys. I know they are Users like me, but I feel safer with you guys,” stated Eve and placed her hand over David’s saying, “I put my trust in you guys.” David smiled and patted Eve’s head making her giggle.

“We’ll head out when the sun rises tomorrow,” stated David. They all nodded.

David suddenly noticed some bunks in the tent and sighed realizing that the bunks were meant for them. It seemed like their arrival was expected, but that seemed impossible. David shook his head instructing the others to choose a bunk. They all chose their bunks and almost immediately fell asleep from the exhaustion of the day.

Night had already covered the desert making the area freezing. It was so cold that Kohaku awoke and rubbed his eyes from the sleep. He crawled off the bunk and was about to head out, but stopped in his tracks when he heard David’s voice say, “Take a weapon with you.” Kohaku nodded taking a machine gun from the side of his bag. He looked back at David and saw David close his eyes before turning toward Eve, who was breathing softly in her bunk.

Kohaku adjusted his hat with a smirk and left the tent. He looked around the camp that seemed empty trying to locate a place to relieve himself. He walked around until he found a solitude tree. He looked around and then approached the tree. He pulled his zipper down and relieved himself quickly.

The moment he was done, he began to hear moaning. He turned around quickly pointing his gun, but paused as his eyes focused on the zombie that slowly approached him with a wide smirk on the face or what seemed like a smirk.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

The gun clicked, but no sound or bullet came out as the zombie moaned loudly.

Area 40 Facility

Staff: 90 (Dead) 0 (Alive)

Users: 4 (Alive) 4 (Dead) 37 (Unknown)

Genome Detention Center

Staff: 90 (Dead?) 0 (Alive)

Prisoners: 5 (Alive) 50 (Dead?)

School

Staff: 50 (Dead) 0 (Alive)

Students: 2 (Alive) 140 (Dead)

Mercenary Camp

Mercenaries: 25 (Alive) 0 (Dead)

World

About 50,000,000,000 (dead) others (Unknown)

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